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Buckhead teen organizes neighborhood race fundraiser
by Nicole Dow
August 14, 2014 11:17 AM | 3205 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal / Haley Hooper, 13, with Lucy, will host the fifth annual Kingswood Fun Run Saturday to raise money for the Atlanta Humane Society.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal / Haley Hooper, 13, with Lucy, will host the fifth annual Kingswood Fun Run Saturday to raise money for the Atlanta Humane Society.
Hoping to get more neighborhood kids interested in running and wanting to give back to an organization supporting animals, Haley Hooper, then 9, organized the Kingswood Fun Run in 2010.

Haley, now 13, is preparing for the fifth annual race, which benefits the Atlanta Humane Society, Saturday starting at 8:30 a.m.

“In the last four years, I raised $4,900 [overall],” said Haley, a resident of the Kingswood neighborhood in Buckhead. 

She said her goal is to raise $2,500 this year. With sponsorships alone, she has already raised $1,700, her mother Christy Hooper said.

“[The fun run] benefits the humane society in a great way,” said Kyle Coffey, the society’s development associate. “We offer $25 microchipping, and it costs us around $100 to spay or neuter an animal.”

Money raised from the race will go toward those services.

Organizing a running event has been a learning experience for Haley, an eighth-grader at The Lovett School.

“It’s a great responsibility to have,” Haley said.

 “It’s a lot of work,” Christy said. “It’s been a wonderful experience for her learning how to plan, execute and continue an event like this.”

She said Haley has learned how to market the race, solicit sponsors and follow up with thank-you notes. Each year, the event grows — both in the number of participants and the amount of money raised. In the first year Haley raised $500 and drew participants by passing out flyers to area homes.

One new aspect this year is participants can register online in advance. They can also show up on race day at 8 a.m. for registration, Haley said. The entry fee is $10.

The fun run is split up into different age groups with staggered start times. Children 5 and under kick off the race at 8:30 a.m. running a flat quarter-mile. Kids 6 through 8 run a flat half-mile and those 9 through 11 run a flat mile. Participants in the 12-through-15 and the 16-and-up age groups run a mile up and down a hill, Christy said.

The race takes place in the neighborhood at Castlegate Drive and Haddon Hall Road. Prizes are given out to the male and female first-, second- and third-place finishers in each age division. A prize is also given out to the youngest runner.

To register online for the Kingswood Fun Run, visit or

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